Awful Beautiful Life

I love this crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful beautiful life…

Nate’s First Movie June 6, 2009

Filed under: Parenting — Sara @ 7:55 pm

We took Nate and Evie to see “Up” in the theater today. It was Nate’s (and Evie’s of course) first movie theater experience.  We were pretty sure one or both of them wouldn’t make it to the end. BUT, they both did!

Things Evie did while at the movie:

  • watched the screen
  • watched Nate and Terry
  • drank a bottle
  • slept

Things Nate did while at the movie:

  • watched the movie
  • sat in his booster
  • took off his shoes
  • put on his shoes
  • moved his booster to the ground
  • sat in the chair without the booster
  • stood on the booster on the ground
  • fell off the booster he was standing on
  • moved his booster back to the chair
  • sat with Terry
  • talked to Evie
  • talked to me
  • ate crackers
  • drank milk
  • drank juice
  • pointed out dogs, ducks, and balloons in the movie
  • laughed

It was a busy hour and a half for the little guy, but I think he had a great time and actually watched about 1/3 of the movie. Terry and I got to watch most of it, which is what I was worried about. It was a great movie!


Happy 2nd Birthday, Natertot! May 27, 2009

Filed under: Parenting — Sara @ 2:46 pm

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since Nate came into our lives.  I can’t remember the time when I didn’t love him.  He has brought so much joy to our lives.  Here’s a monthly recap of his life so far:

We love you, little man!  You can blame your sister for my lack of sleep and subsequent lack of witty comments on this special day.

Terry wrote something a little more profound (or at least longer) to mark the occassion here.


Redemption April 1, 2009

Filed under: Parenting — Sara @ 4:35 pm

We recently got a flip and I’ve been abusing it like any good mom would.  I thought I would share what Evie’s been doing to try to redeem herself since she read my last post.

She likes peek-a-boo and is getting great at multi-tasking like her mommy (hiccupping and laughing at the same time isn’t easy!).

AND, she rolled over for the first time today! (She had to pause mid-roll to catch one last glimpse of that cute baby in the mirror…)


I take it back! March 26, 2009

Filed under: Parenting — Sara @ 2:04 pm

So you know that baby I was telling you about here and here?  The one that sleeps and rarely cries?  The one that makes life with two children not that stressful? Well, apparently the baby gods read my posts and didn’t think it was fair for someone to have such a sweet baby.  They came and took her and replaced her with a baby that acts a little too much like this baby did.  To be fair, she does still sleep better than Nate did (most nights) and I’ve been told her cry is “cute” while Nate’s was more like a monkey shrieking for hours on end.  Either way, let’s just pretend I never wrote those nice things about her and go back to the way things were, okay?

I thought maybe she was teething since there have been insane amounts of drool and hand-sucking lately, but so far, no teeth have sprouted on which to blame her meanness on.  She hates her carseat.  She must cry for 20 minutes before falling asleep even though she is fed and dry and tired.  She won’t fall asleep unless you hold her.  She aims for me when she spits up (no, for serious!!). The only time she’s truly happy is the 5 minutes everyday that she discovers her feet (so exciting!). Everytime I go to the grocery store, I have to get her out of her carseat half way through the trip and hold her.  I finally learned to bring the front pack with me so I could have two hands to put groceries in the cart, but half the time, being in the front pack just isn’t close enough to being held and she cries anyways.  The past few times we’ve gone to the mall to let Nate play at the indoor playscape, I’ve had to hold her while pushing around the bus of a double stroller we have because it’s just too awful for her to spend more than 5 minutes in her carseat.  The upside to all of this baby holding is I have biceps of steel (even if the rest of my body is still squishy with post-pregnancy padding).

Now you might ask why I bother going out at all if it’s such a hassle.  When we had Nate and he was super needy and cried all the time, we sat at home for fear that if we went in public, everyone would know what terrible parents we obviously were (why else do babies cry ALL THE TIME?).  We now know babies just cry sometimes, whether you’re terrible parents or not.  And most of the looks people give you when your baby cries in public are not because they are judging you, but because they sympathize with you.  Don’t worry, the people who are judging you probably haven’t had kids yet and the baby gods will smite them when they do (at least I hope they do).  I still venture to the grocery store, to the park, to the mall, to eat lunch with Terry because I HAVE TO.  Otherwise, I will go insane.  Nate is happily occupied inside our house for maybe an hour.  And then it’s whining, and “side” (his way of saying outside), and “up” because he needs to be held all the time if Evie does.

I love those chubby cheeks!

I love those chubby cheeks!

Now I’m not just trying to complain here although it may seem like it.  I knew what I was getting myself into (sort of).  We did this on purpose.  It seemed like a good idea to get these baby years over with all at once so we weren’t changing diapers for FIVE (or more!) years of our lives.  Of course, this idea came before Nate learned to walk, and climb, and open door handles, and run faster than I can even though my legs are 3 times as long as his.  I just want my angel baby back.  I know you’ve hidden her somewhere and I think I’ve more than earned my mommy-of-two badge now, so just give her back already!

At least she’s cute and I have those biceps to be happy about.  And there’s also this.  Nate is turning into an amazing little boy.  He’s talking really well, eating off of plates (without throwing them when he’s done), using utensils, and, wait for it…


We finally got the rails down from the attic, put them on his twin mattress on the floor, and bought him some new colorful sheets to make his big bed more exciting.  He slept there through the night Friday and hasn’t gone back to the crib since!  We moved the crib into Evie’s room on Sunday so we can finally finish her nursery.  Nate does the cutest thing when he wakes up.  He plays in his bed until you come into his room and he then he asks to get down, even though he has toys in his room, in plain view from his bed.  I kind of want to tell him it’s ok to get out of bed before we come get him, but then he might get upset that his door’s closed instead of playing and I might miss my extra 10 minutes of sleep.  So, I’ll wait for him to figure that one out on his own. 🙂


Wonder Baby February 19, 2009

Filed under: Parenting — Sara @ 3:46 pm

I’ve mentioned before how great Evie is.  She sleeps.  She’s mostly content (except with Terry, but that’s another story for another time).  But, seriously, we have a super hero for a baby.

Wonder Moment #1:

Evie during her EKG, almost 3 months old.

Evie during her EKG, almost 3 months old.

Evie has a small hole in her heart (a VSD for you medical types).  When she was 3 days old (1 day out of the hospital) we had to take her to a pediatric cardiologist for testing.  They stripped Evie down to her diaper and put a bunch of stickers all over her chest and abdomen and hooked up wires to them for an EKG.  It took a while to get the measurements to come out right since she was so little and feisty.  Then, the doctor came in and decided she also needed an ultrasound of Evie’s heart.  So we went to another room and a tech slathered her chest up with lube and took a million pictures of her chambers and whatnot.

Not only did Evie not cry once during the whole appointment, but she actually fell asleep during the ultrasound.  I can assure you that Nate would have screamed the entire time because he was cold and people were touching him and he’s starving because you haven’t fed him in the last 5 minutes you terrible, terrible parents.

We took Evie back to the cardiologist today for a check-up.  I was slightly worried she wouldn’t do as well this time since she is older.  Newborns sleep a lot more than 3 month olds.  We went through the whole routine again, EKG and ultrasound.  Evie was great again.  She didn’t go to sleep this time, but she hardly made a peep the entire appointment.  She was happy and smiling for all but a few minutes when she got hungry.

(Evie’s VSD is small and should heal on it’s own in the next few years, in case you were worried.)

    Wonder Moment #2:

A few weeks ago, Evie developed a cough.  Nate had a cold and ear infection the week before and, like good big brothers do, he shared with his sister.  We took her to the doctor on Tuesday and it was just a cold.  By Thursday,

Evie's sleeping with her oxygen tube thingy, 2 months old.

Evie sleeping with her oxygen tube thingy, 2 months old.

she sounded like she was wheezing and having trouble breathing.  We took her back to the doctor on Friday and were told her cold had developed into bronchiolitis, which is particularly bad for a tiny baby.  They tried a breathing treatment in the office to see if her lungs would clear.  I had to hold an oxygen mask over her face while a machine pumped albuterol into her lungs (it probably works way different than that, but that’s how I understood it).  The nurse warned me that most kids cry the whole time because of the loud noise, but not to worry because she’s not being hurt.  So we got the mask strap over her head and she fussed a little.  The nurse left and I held the mask.  It turns out Evie isn’t “most kids”.  She didn’t cry.  In fact, she fell asleep!  The breathing treatment didn’t help, so the pediatrician sent us to Dell Children’s Hospital to be admitted.

After sitting in the ER waiting room for an hour or so, we were triaged by a nurse and taken back to a room.  All of Evie’s vitals looked ok, includng her oxygen levels.  By the time another nurse checked on us in the room, she took another set of vitals and was concerned that her oxygen levels might be lower now.  She hooked up a monitor to Evie’s foot and her oxygen level was below 90.  The nurse hooked Evie up to one of those tubes they stick in your nose to give you oxygen (again, sorry I’m not all technical/medical and have no clue what it’s called).  The only time Evie fussed was when they had to take the tape off her face to reposition the tube in her nose and then re-tape it.  I think I would have cried, too.  That’s some sticky tape they use.

We ended up staying overnight in the hospital while they monitored Evie’s oxygen levels.  They couldn’t do much for her besides give her oxygen since bronchiolitis is caused by a virus, probably RSV. Evie went through two more breathing treatments, had her nose suctioned 4 or 5 times, and was constantly messed with/woken up to check her blood pressure, pulse, and whatever else is important when an infant is in the hospital.  They even made me wake her up in the middle of the night to feed her so they could check her weight.  (Is that really necessary at 4 am?  I tried to tell them she normally sleeps through the night, but they didn’t care.)

Because you can never have too many pictures of a happy baby.

Because you can never have too many pictures of a happy baby.

We left her in her diaper throughout the visit because it was easier for the nurses and doctors to check her that way.  She absolutely LOVED being a naked baby (as long as it wasn’t cold, of course).  In the morning, they were able to turn the oxygen off to see how she was breathing on her own.  After 7 hours of acceptable oxygen levels, they decided it was safe to let us go home.  Evie was a trooper the whole time.  During the last doctor’s examination, she was cooing and smiling at him.  I think I heard from 12 different people how they wanted to take her home because she was such a sweet baby.  They were probably just sweet talking me to get me to buy them presents, but they were right.  She is a sweet baby.  A wonder baby.

Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx myself by saying this out loud (sort of).  We moved our wonder baby into her own room a week ago.  I can’t believe she’s almost 3 months old.  I can’t believe how much she’s gone through in her short little life.  I can’t believe how undeniably amazing and resilient she is for coming out of it all grinning.


Life with Two January 12, 2009

Filed under: Marriage,Parenting — Sara @ 2:35 pm

Did you know that babies are supposed to sleep? Like, all the time? And they’re NOT supposed to cry all the time? This news has come as a welcome shock to us. Evie has her moments, but she is a little angel compared to what Nate put us through. She sleeps 5-7 hours at night. I think it took Nate about 6 months to figure that out. And then we ferberized him.  I’m not really sure why we thought it was a good idea to have another kid already, knowing what they could put you through.  I guess we figured it couldn’t be THAT bad again.  I guess we were right.

Nate ate every 2 hours, around the clock.  It would take him 45 minutes to fall back asleep so I maybe got an hour of sleep at a time for the first 2 months or so.  Then we switched to formula, for that and other reasons.  Evie has no eating schedule.  It’s kind of annoying because you never know when she’ll be hungry again- some times it’s 1.5 hours, sometimes it’s 4- completely unpredictable.  She also rarely poops (maybe once every 2 days) which is very different from most infants that poop in every diaper. For Evie, this means we sometimes forget to change her until her diaper is super full, but we’re trying to get better about it!  It’s funny how much you talk openly about poop once you become a parent (sorry to you childless readers…) Those are really my only two complaints about her, and I am more than happy to deal with them considering what she could be doing to us.

I love these people.

I love these people.

Although Evie is a fairly easy infant, the last six weeks have not been easy (I won’t even go into the fun delivery details, you can read them here dated November 27-28).  Had she been difficult, I would probably be writing this from a mental hospital.  I had problems nursing Nate and gave up after 2 months.  I started having similar problems with Evie in the hospital and constantly asked the nurses for help.  Most were encouraging and said I was doing everything right, “it just takes time for mom and baby to adjust”.  The first night nurse told me “some women just aren’t made to breastfeed.”  I wanted to smack her.  Instead, I cried.  How dare she say that to me!  She was probably just being honest, but that’s not what struggling mothers need.  By the time we came home, I was bleeding and in incredible pain at every feeding.  By our 2nd day at home I had chills and 1o4 fever from mastitis, which also makes your boobs even more tender than they already are from engorgement. I could write an entire post (maybe a book) about my struggles and failures with breastfeeding, but I will save you the details.  I gave up when Evie was a week old and I found myself dreading and crying at every feeding.

Only two people I’ve told have been entirely supportive of my choice to bottle feed.  I go through days when I feel like a terrible mother for not being able to stick it out.  Could it really have been all that painful? And then I recall telling Terry how having Evie was way less painful than those feedings and I know that it must have been really bad.  An emotionally and physically well mother, bottle feeding her baby, is much better than the alternative, even if it would have only lasted a few months, in my opinion. If you have something encouraging to say on this subject, please comment. Otherwise, please keep your thoughts to yourself. I can’t go back and change my decision. I’m thrilled that there are women who are able to successfully breastfeed and would encourage every new mom to try it, but it doesn’t always work out.

I’ve already amazed myself with what you can accomplish with two kids, and I still have a lot to learn.  I’ve run into the grocery store with Evie in a sling and Nate on my hip because his shoe fell off in the middle of the parking lot in the freezing rain.  I’ve learned to do oh so many things one-handed- like fold laundry, get Nate out of his crib while giving Evie a bottle, and typing this blog post (VERY slowly).  I’m still a little weary of leaving the house by myself with both kids, but the double stroller is quickly becoming my best friend.  I’m quite proud of how much we’ve done as a family since having Evie.  We were terrified to leave the house with Nate because he would likely scream the ENTIRE time, even in the car, and we would get those judging stares.  I think we went out to eat for the first time when he was 6 weeks old because I was so stir crazy I was about to explode.  Evie, on the other hand, went to the mall, grocery shopping, to Babies-r-us, and out to eat several times before she was a week old.  Apparently, stir-craziness increases exponentially when you have an 18 month old in the house with you. 🙂

And finally, I’m excited to say that Terry and I are getting along better than we have in years.  Not that it’s been bad, it’s just great now.  It’s like when we first started dating. Only with a mortgage and 2 kids.


The End of Babyhood November 27, 2008

Filed under: Parenting — Sara @ 11:22 am

Happy Birthday to Nate! He turns 18 months old today. It’s also the official last day he is an only child. The last day he is our baby. He has grown into such a wonderful little boy over the past year and a half. At the

Nate, 18 months old.

Nate, 18 months old.

beginning, we weren’t sure all of us would survive this long. 🙂 I am amazed by him everyday. He is so intrigued by all of the things we take for granted because we experience them everyday and have become numb to their wonder. I know he is still very much a baby and will be for few more years. But, he will have to grow up faster than he may want to fill the shoes of a big brother.

Part of me feels guilty for bringing another child into our family while Nate is still so young. I feel like I am taking part of me away from him. I read a quote recently that said our hearts don’t have to be divided when we have more than one child, that they expand to make room for each addition. I can’t imagine having more love in my heart than I have for Nate, but I guess I will feel what that’s like tomorrow.

Another part of me is so excited to be giving Nate a sibling- and hopefully a lifelong friend. I am so blessed to have my sister in my life. She is truly my best friend and that will never change. We definitely weren’t always close, and for most of our childhood, we were enemies. I’m sure Nate and his new sibling will have their share of disagreements over the years, but I hope those fights help strengthen their relationship and that they can lean on each other when they need unconditional support.

We don’t have any Thanksgiving plans today.  We had our big meal with our family last night.  Today, we are spending time celebrating Terry’s birthday (since we’ll be in the hospital on Saturday) and enjoying our last hours as a family of 3.

These are my 18 favorite things about Nate at 18 months (thanks to Laurel for the idea):

  1. The way he giggles uncontrollably when we go see Daddy for lunch and he sees Daddy coming towards our car.
  2. The way he hugs and kisses Rojo and fusses when Dot runs away from him because he wants to pet her, too.
  3. How proud he is of himself when he tells us what he wants (and gets it) through signs or words.
  4. How he blows kisses, blinks his eyes, and waves at strangers.  Almost everyday, someone tells me that he just made their day.
  5. The way he runs to the window or garage door when he hears Daddy is home.
  6. How fascinated he is with lights and fans and signs please when he wants them on.
  7. His slobbery kisses on my cheek and baby belly.
  8. How he tries so hard to do something on his own (complete with an adorable face of concentration) and then asks for help with a big grin on his face when he can’t get it.
  9. His recent attachment his Mommy and the cute little way he says my name.
  10. The way he shows affection to his stuffed animals by cuddling them and giving them kisses.
  11. How he has to have his tiger under one arm, sippy cup of water under the other, and monkey music playing before he’ll lay down for nap.
  12. How resilient he is.  He gets a lot of bumps and bruises, and a quick hug and kiss from Mommy or Daddy is usually enough to make everything better and move onto the next adventure.
  13. The way he loves to wear hats- his Tech hat, Daddy’s Tech hat, or even a bucket he pretends is a hat.
  14. How he loves to throw things away for us and take his diaper to the diaper champ in the garage.
  15. How excited he gets when he sees a kitty on TV, running around the house, or outside and says “kitty!”.
  16. The way he runs EVERYWHERE because life is just that exciting.
  17. The way he plays peekaboo by hiding behind a column or squatting down by the ottoman or just putting his hands over his eyes so he thinks you can’t see him.
  18. How he knows which book he wants you to read him and will let you know if you choose the wrong one.

We love you Nate!  You will be a wonderful big brother, but you will always be my baby.